Guide to Using This Curriculum
Bias crimes seriously threaten our democratic society, which is built on the strength of its diversity. These crimes represent a particularly heinous form of violence, in which thousands of Americans are victimized each year because of their skin color, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or disability. Growing concern exists around the country, in communities large and small, urban, suburban, and rural, about the prevalence of bias crime. Swift and effective investigation, prosecution, and response to these crimes is critical for developing and maintaining both respect for and appreciation of the growing diversity of our country's citizens.
This training package builds on the best efforts and practices to date, identified by national experts in law enforcement, victim assistance, and hate crime prevention and response. This curriculum differs from others in that it is intended for a multidisciplinary training audience, including law enforcement officers, victim advocates, and community-based organizations. It was field-tested to ensure its relevance to both victim assistance and law enforcement professionals and its user-friendliness. The results are reflected in the approach and materials presented here in this curriculum.
Professionals in the fields of both law enforcement and victim assistance feel a growing desire to better respond to victims of bias crime and to work together more effectively. With the increased national awareness of the need to recognize and respond to these crimes, and with the growing number of states enacting hate crime legislation, professionals in these fields express a need for up-to-date training that is multidisciplinary in nature.
Responding to Hate Crime: A Multidisciplinary Curriculum was developed to meet this need. Its focus is capacity building, and its purpose is to strengthen the knowledge and skills of individual professionals in law enforcement and victim assistance. Specifically, it is designed to do the following:
Responding to Hate Crime: A Multidisciplinary Curriculum is a six-session training program. Several characteristics central to its design are important to understand.
The curriculum is designed for an integrated audience of law enforcement and victim assistance professionals. Since a major training goal is to provide a forum where professionals from these two fields can learn from one another, most of the sessions are structured either for the entire audience, or smaller integrated groups of representatives from each field. The pilot test showed that a major benefit for participants is the chance to interact and learn, side by side, with professionals from their own and one another's fields.
This curriculum was developed to address the range of issues relevant to bias crime: deterrence and prevention, the needs of victims and the community, and the ability of the criminal justice system to investigate, report, and prosecute these crimes. It was also developed in a modular format to enable local jurisdictions to adapt and customize their own trainings based on their particular needs and time constraints.
The curriculum is designed to take into account the characteristics of adult learners. Participants respond best and learn most in a forum that fosters discussion and interactive learning. Therefore, the training is designed to promote discussion and interaction. Activities have been developed and selected to provide the greatest opportunities for skill building in the most comfortable manner.
Law enforcement and victim assistance professionals collectively bring a broad base of knowledge and experience to the training. Several activities in this curriculum provide an opportunity for law enforcement and victim assistance professionals to solve problems together.
The cases used in this curriculum are adapted from actual criminal cases gathered from police departments and prosecutor's offices. Names and addresses have been changed to preserve anonymity. Cases were specially selected to illustrate various aspects of bias crime and provide authenticity to enhance group discussions. In adapting this curriculum for local use, instructors may change the type of victimization, locales, and/or names used in the cases to reflect their regions.
Each session is organized as follows:
To assist instructors, the curriculum uses a series of icons to show when videos, transparencies, handouts, case studies, and flipcharts will be used during the course of each session. These icons are as follows:
Cosponsoring the Training
It is recommended that this training be jointly sponsored by a law enforcement agency and victim service agency.
Recruitment of Instructors
Instructors for the training can be recruited from any of the following organizations:
Instructors should have the following background:
Instructors should also be representative of the community and should be diverse in terms of cultural background, gender, and professional affiliation.
Recruitment of Participants
Participants from law enforcement and victim services may be recruited from the same list of agencies and departments utilized for recruiting instructors. Participants should be balanced in terms of:
Planning for Session B: Victim Impact
This session incorporates a presentation from an actual victim of a bias crime. The purpose of the presentation is as follows:
The instructor may be able to recruit a victim from the following agencies or departments:
The following are important issues to address before recruiting a victim:
The victim should be given ample notice that he or she will be speaking to a group and addressing the following issues:
By bringing along a support person, the victim may feel more comfortable in the presentation.
Planning for Session D: Bias Crime and the Law
For this session, you will need obtain copies of your state's criminal, civil, and reporting laws covering bias crime. You should then create transparencies highlighting the primary elements of these laws. You may also wish to develop handouts that contain full or partial text of the laws.
This session includes six cases that should be reviewed prior to the session by the instructor in light of the relevant state statutes. Each case is followed by a list of questions for instructors to review with participants. Suggested answers are provided for most of these questions. However, some of the answers depend upon individual state laws. Therefore, instructors should review the questions and prepare state-specific answers to those questions that require them.
In the interest of time, instructors may choose to use only those cases that best suit the experience level of the audience. However, the cases should be discussed in sequence whenever possible, because they grow progressively more complex and more legally ambiguous.
The video segments for the curriculum were selected by experts in the area of bias crime from the fields of law enforcement, victim assistance, and curriculum development. The videos chosen were selected from a pool of videos that were screened and rated on the relevance of their content, the quality of production, and the timeliness of events portrayed.
Videos should be ordered at least four to six weeks in advance of the training. Information on purchasing or renting videos is included in each session, where applicable.